To be a successful operations manager, you first and foremost must be able to grasp the business concept, model, and values at the macro level. Here are some common questions that they must ask themselves:
- Why does the business exist?
- Does it sell its product or services to other businesses (B2B) or directly to its own customers (B2C)?
- What problem is it solving?
- How does it address that problem?
- What are the core values of the business?
A great operations manager knows the business concept inside-out, and then works through the nitty-gritty details to keep it running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Tip: If you’re switching industries, you’ll want to focus on displaying your core skills rather than your knowledge-based value-add. Make sure you research your new company and industry extensively.
In terms of a skillset, an operations manager is more of a generalist than a specialist; you’re a specialist in your industry or niche, but have a generalist’s skill and savvy when it comes to managing different parts of the business and the team. For example, the operations manager at a golf course will have a different knowledge base and skillset than the operations manager at a software company.
Since operations managers generally do have a leadership role in a company, you’ll definitely want to highlight your abilities and skills development as a leader. But, other parts of an operations manager’s duties are far more about management – that is, about control, consistency, cost, etc – so emphasize that you know the difference between leadership and management and which is called for when.
In a nutshell, you want to position yourself as a leader of people, and an owner or manager of products and processes. How can you do that on your resume? Get started with the tips below:
1. Write A Strong Career Objective
You want to write your career objective as a crisp, clear portrait of yourself in a few short lines at the top of your resume. Let’s take a closer look at the career objective in the sample resume:
A financially savvy, customer experience-oriented Operations Manager with a passion for hospitality. Over 6 years of experience in the hospitality industry, with a focus in corporate policy and process efficiency. Committed to promoting the highest standards and company values.
In these short 3 sentences, this individual has told the reader their level of experience (6 years), their particular value-add (process efficiency, financials, customer experience), and included a point about their character and standards.
2. How To Showcase Your Top Skills Inside Your Professional Experience
When listing your professional experience, you’ll want to list your relevant experience in reverse chronological order, using action verbs to highlight the particular skills you have developed and results you’ve achieved.
The overall picture your professional experience should paint is:
- This person has relevant experience and industry knowledge
- This person has the skills needed to do the job
- This person has not just done the job, but done it well & at different levels
Here are some of the most desirable skills for operations managers and how you might display them in your professional experience section of your resume.
Technical skills – this will depend heavily on which industry or niche you work in, but an operations manager should have at least cursory knowledge of technical skills and processes involved in the business, and in most cases a much more in-depth knowledge is required. This could range from computer software to heavy machinery, depending on your industry.
Communication skills – Being able to communicate across departments and with employees of all levels is crucial to your ability to run and grow a successful operation. There are several examples that would tell the reader that this candidate is a good communicator, such as:
- Introduced, onboarded, and built relationships with employees
- Managed a team of 8 staff, later expanding to 12
Financial know-how – Bringing money into many businesses is the job of sales and marketing departments, while the finances are controlled by another department. The operations manager has to liaise between the two and have a sharp eye on operating budgets.
The ability to spot opportunities to boost efficiency and productivity – This comes from an understanding of business and people processes, which could lead to saving time or money (or both!). In this bullet point, the applicant indicates a cost savings (less staff turnover means less time and money spent on training new staff) which doubles as an endorsement of his leadership and communication skills.
- Uphold the highest standards of club cleanliness and staff conduct while reducing staff turnover by 22%
Problem solving skills – In some way, this is the core ability of the superstar operations manager; you find a solution to every problem that might keep the business from running smoothly.
People skills – Operations managers are in charge of instilling the values and standards of the business across all levels and departments, which necessarily means working closely with people. This means setting rules, quality assurance, delegating, disciplining, and leading the team to drive the organization toward its goals. In the sample resume, the applicant demonstrates his focus on the people he works with here:
- Implemented new staff training process, incentive program, and career advancement initiatives to identify, coach, and support high performers & management trainees
Your choice of action verbs should be appropriate to the position you are applying for. A leadership role like Operations Manager should include verbs that speak to authority and seniority. Here’s 20 action verbs that you might use in your resume:
- Responsible For
3. Show Your Industry Knowledge and Education
As mentioned previously, operations managers generally require a great deal of technical knowledge in their field, and therefore may have specific educational requirements that could require years of schooling.
Tip: Staying on top of new industry-applicable software, systems, and ideas is a must for operations managers. Make sure any relevant educational qualifications are listed in your resume education section.
Many operations managers have been to business school, in particular those who will be dealing with supply chain management or working in large corporations with many subsidiary companies.
Again, due to the intimate industry knowledge needed, there is no general education requirement for operations managers, but continuous education and skills/knowledge upgrading is always a good idea.
4. Flaunt Your Additional Skills
The additional skills section is great for highlighting special details or must-haves that don’t fit into the other sections. Language skills are more and more desirable in the job market, and in some industries first aid certification may be a requirement.
If you are looking to apply for an operations manager position, please click here to view all jobs available on Hospitality Jobs UK.
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